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So welcome to Lesson #2 of the course Synapses, neurons and brains.

Last time we spoke I gave you a general introduction to the excitement in brain research today. and with some techniques to approach the brain in a modern way. Today we shall dwell into, the ingredients of the brain. I want to discuss with you the materialistic brain the ingredients of the brain the neurons that the brain consists of. I want to discuss with you the axon, which is part of the neuron. A very interesting long process, the axon. We shall then discuss dendrites and dendritic spines. Later on, we'll discuss several types of neurons. I want to show you that neuron is not a neuron. But there are different types of neuron. And we'll talk about what does it mean, a type of a neuron. We like to speak about synapses, the connection between neurons, the device that connects between neurons, the synapse. The electrical signals that the neuron carries and we'll discuss two major electrical signals. The spike or action potential. The active signal and the synaptic potentials. The post-synaptic potentials, PSPs, which is the signal that is generated between once cell to the other through the synapse. And, finally, I want to summarize this session, this lesson by showing you or discussing with you the neuron as an input output very interesting device. So, this is the plan of the talk for today. We'll see how we progress. So but first, I want to give you a perspective, a general perspective about the development of ideas, development of tools and concepts until we came to the day when we know that neurons are the elementary building blocks of the brain. [COUGH] So about more than 500 years ago 400 years ago, there was a microscope. So this microscope was really a big invention because it enables for the first time to look at the microscope and see a different tissues, different type

the term neuron was invented.of tissues that they are consistent of cells. And then there is a new term for . like in any other tissue and this neuron has a term suddenly a neuron. So. Camillo Golgi the anatomist. Luckily this staining was very random. building blocks like neurons. of the microscope. was invented by the German. you could see entities you see ingredients inside the nervous system. And then there was this issue of cell theory. the British came and coined the word synapse. very. it stained only very few cells and suddenly as you will see soon and you already saw. to stain the nervous system. there was no neuron. but it is built from little. four years later. And the term neuron. And finally in this process of understanding the nervous system. which you already heard about him and we'll talk a little bit more about him. draw cell by cell any proposed that indeed like any other living system also the nervous system is build from individual separate elements. is built from cells. the Italian anatomist. about 120 years ago. Later on. The Spaniard Ramón y Cajal used the technique developed by Golgi. Individual cells together form a tissue. the notion of a cell. that the tissue. Waldeyer. [SOUND] In 1870 Camillo Golgi. But this is due to a new technique to stain nerve cells and this is due to Camilo Golgi. This is 1870. little build. Maybe yes. very random. That there is a neuron. So all this is a very brief introduction to the development of tools. you called the neuron doctrine. Charles Sherrington. characterization of the nervous system. in the world. This came about after the invention of the microscope. And then the colleague and opponent. about few years later. so to speak. But is it true for the brain? Is the brain a regular tissue? A tissue that eventually becomes what it is. developed a very special method using silver to stain neurons. So before. the staining tools and then concepts. maybe no. every tissue. Both. that. In order to really detect.

in a living system. a lot of jungle of wires and jungle of neurons. feelings. So we have know techniques to record the activity using visual technique using using light. very heavy. we can really look at the living brain. The two-photon imaging technology that enables us to zoom in. of the brain. but that's my speculation. So. And there are these beautiful techniques . how this jungle of neurons generates all that we know about. Maybe later on. You will see a network of neurons. actually working in Trieste. you zoom into the depth of the. in the neuron doctrine. very fine zooming into the brain. of neurons sitting one inside the other one on top of the other intermingled like in a jungle of trees. very intense. but we can zoom into the brain. emotions and so forth. With a lot of wires. in order to see suddenly these green group of cells flushing. Sigmund Freud is part of this development of concepts about the neuron as an individual. to look into the network in a living ce. let's go to the brain. He took the neuron as an individual and dealt with humans as individuals. But. with a lot of interactions as we should discuss in a second. And you'll see cells. A lot of. who was also like a Ramón Cajal. and this is a new technology. And this is what we need to understand. what you see everywhere. in a living brain.connection between neurons. we can characterize regions. we can speak about function of different regions. and when you zoom into the brain. crayfish neurons. you see more cells and suddenly you see activity of a group of the cell. and you can see original drawings by Freud. believing in the individual. in Italy and he was also drawing neurons. So that's what you see in the brain you see cell after cell after cell. the synapse. Because Sigmund Freud as you may know. very. So. Today. when we look at this interesting tissue below our skull. independent where you look at you will see this. started as a neurobiologist. a jungle of elements. So one of the players interestingly in this development of ideas was Sigmund Freud.

axonal tree. In the hypocampus for example. of human. We can see some kind of a process. We'll see the cell body. axonal tree. in any system of the brain. another cell. With a flourescent dye. of mouse. dendritic tree. Cells and their connections. Big brains. this is a pyramidal cell--we speak about pyramidal cell. This is one example. another cell. from the cortex of the mouse in this case from Henry Markram's lab in Lucerne where they succeeded to individually stain one cell. we'll discuss the axons. Another beautiful picture for you. One cell. [BLANK_AUDIO] . cell body. small brains of cockroach. So there is this reptition of a given building block in any area of the brain. So this is in a given region hippocampus. we'll discuss that these are dendrites. and axon going all over. This is the elementary building block of any nervous system. cell body. in modern way we discuss the brain bow technology. denditric tree. you see the cells. another cell. of cat.to look at the brain in a very. So this is a cortex here just below the skull. 12 cells together. We can look at other regions and we shall also see cells. and the cells have a very particular structure. again. This is the building block and network of elements and connections and axons and wires going from one to the other again and again. we can see. another cell. You can axons. of monkey.